17 June 2021, Budapest - The Competition Committee of the OECD held its usual summer session last week, during which the Hungarian Competition Authority played an active role as well.
Hungary is represented by the Hungarian Competition Authority (GVH) in the Competition Committee of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which brings together the activities of the competition authorities of the Member countries, and its two working parties (Working Party on Competition and Regulation, Working Party on Co-operation and Enforcement). The OECD holds roundtables and hearings to discuss current competition policy issues. These roundtables and hearings are assisted by contributions prepared by the competition authorities of the Member countries on their respective national experiences.
This year, the summer session of the Competition Committee took place between 7-11 June 2021. Due to the pandemic, the session took place virtually. The GVH actively participated in the work of the Competition Committee this year as well; the colleagues of the GVH shared their experiences from Hungary regarding Competition enforcement and regulatory alternatives and Competition compliance programmes.
On the topic of Competition enforcement and regulatory alternatives, the GVH demonstrated how its experiences may contribute to the efficient development of legal regulations through its investigations carried out on the markets of financial services (e.g. debit card market, retail banking market). The GVH places a lot of emphasis on maintaining dynamic and active cooperation with the sectoral regulatory authorities; the Authority presented the considerations related to these activities as well, adding that cooperation between authorities is a legal obligation in certain sectors. There are cases where certain market practices are in line with the sectoral policies; however, they still raise the competition concerns: these issues were investigated for example during the proceeding of the GVH concerning blank carrier media remuneration.
The GVH has been sharing its experiences and official practices related to Competition compliance programmes since 2012 as the Authority has been supporting the improvement of the competition law understanding and compliance efforts of undertakings for 9 years. The GVH took into account such efforts by the undertakings during its proceedings concerning diagnostic imaging equipment, cartel practices related to neuropacemaker devices, and its case on radiological IT products, among others. The presentation also emphasised that the GVH does not accept such offers in every case: for example in the case of the cartel of human resources consultants, the competition council was unable to take it into account as a fine-reducing factor that one of the undertakings was planning to introduce its compliance programme without participating in the leniency or settlement proceedings or actively providing any form of compensation. The GVH highlighted that it has considered compliance efforts as a fine-reducing factor in 10 cases related to restrictive market practices since 2017, with a total amount of more than HUF 360 million granted as reductions. Based on the data of the GVH, none of the undertakings has since shown any signs of infringing competition law.
The full text of the contributions of the GVH is available on its website:
GVH Press Office